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July 2024

Asia – Europe spot container rates up over 100% due to Red Sea terror

Spot container freight rates from Asia – Europe have more than doubled over the last two weeks as lines divert via the Cape of Good Hope to avoid attacks in the Red Sea.

Drewry’s World Container Index (WCI) reported a 61% jump for the two-week period ended 4 January 2024 to hit $2,670 per feu. The weekly index was not reported on 28 December 2023 due to the holiday season.

The largest increases were seen on the Asia – Europe and Asia – Med trades where many container services have been diverted to sail via the Cape of Good rather the much shorter route through the Suez Canal so as to avoid the Red Sea where commercial shipping has come under attack from Yemini Houthi rebels.

Earlier this week vessel diversions around the Cape had reached 262 ships, 3.4 million teu or 12% of the global fleet, according to analyst Linerlytica.

For the Shanghai – Rotterdam route Drewry reported that rates had jumped 115% to $3,577 per feu compared to two weeks earlier. For Asia – Med the Shanghai – Genoa trade saw 114% increase to $4,178 per feu.

However, even trades that do not pass through the Red Sea have reported significant increases in spot rates with Shanghai to Los Angeles rates up 30% compared to two weeks earlier at $2,762 per feu.

The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) which was up 40% for the week ended 29 December 2023 showed a much smaller increase over the last week of 7.8% to hit 1,896.65 points on Friday.

“Drewry anticipates East-West spot rates to increase in the coming weeks, due to the Red Sea/Suez situation,” Drewry said.

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Published Date: January 5, 2024

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